Etihad Airways Completes First Regularly Scheduled Flight Between Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv
Today, Etihad Airways completed their first regularly scheduled flight between Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv as the next historic step in developing diplomatic and tourism ties between the UAE and Israel, as part of the Abraham Accords inked in September 2020.
On Tuesday (April 6, 2021), Etihad Airways announced the completion of their first regularly scheduled flight between Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv. The historic flight (EY598) departed Abu Dhabi International Airport this morning at 10:05 (UAE time) with a diplomatic and economic delegation representing the UAE. The delegation included H.E. Mohamad Al-Khaja, the UAE’s first Ambassador to Israel, Eitan Nae’eh, Israel’s Head of Mission to the UAE and Etihad Group’s CEO, Tony Douglas. The flight landed at 12:30 (Israel time) at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport and was greeted with a traditional water canon salute, followed by a reception with speeches by the UAE’s Ambassador to Israel, Etihad Group’s CEO, and Ben Gurion International Airport’s CEO, Shmuel Zakay.
Speaking on the historic occasion, Etihad Aviation Group’s Chief Executive Officer, Tony Douglas, said,
“Today is a hugely significant moment in Etihad’s history, as we operate our first scheduled commercial flight into Tel Aviv. Last year, we witnessed the UAE and Israel make history when signing the Abraham Accords, and we are tremendously excited about the opportunities this poses to Etihad, and our home Abu Dhabi. On our inaugural flight today, we were delighted to welcome representatives from some of the UAE’s finest tourism and hospitality operators. These business leaders will not only showcase Abu Dhabi as a world-leading tourism destination, but also reinforce the emirate’s robust and united response towards wellness.”
The route will be operated with one of the carrier’s flagship Boeing 787 Dreamliners configured with 28 Business Class and 262 Economy smart seats, featuring Etihad’s renowned e-box inflight entertainment system and Wi-Fi. The airline will initially offer twice-weekly service on the route and customers arriving in Abu Dhabi will no longer be required to quarantine, as Israel has been added to Abu Dhabi’s ‘green list.’ Additionally, guests traveling from Tel Aviv will enjoy seamless connections via Abu Dhabi to 35 global destinations including major cities across Asia, the Indian sub-continent and Australia.
Etihad and EL AL continue to prepare for wide-ranging cooperation, both on this route and beyond. The airlines signed a Memorandum of Understanding in November 2020 covering codesharing, frequent flyer programs and cooperation in cargo, training and maintenance services.
Source: Etihad Airways